Re: [CR]Campy brake superiority.

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From: "ternst" <>
To: "James G Allen" <>, <>
References: <> <> <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Campy brake superiority.
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 10:49:37 -0800

I seem to recall that Weinmann is a German CO. They also had a subsidiary or sister corporation in Switzerland and because of shipping, customs, and taxes used either /or when it was favorable. I'm going back into the '50's now. Weinmann bought the old Scheerens Folks Factory and was making the rims also in that time. This was in '60's. What I'm not 100% certain on is whether Weinmann was formally listed as a German or Swiss Co.. but I think it's German. The Belgian Rim Factory was a Weinmann subsidiary and again probably for tax and production costs was located there. Didn't Alesa buy out the rim plant, or take it over later? Wasn't it the Weinmann factory in Olney, Illinois that had the fire and the production was short for supply until the European factories could make up the slack. It never did get back to full production if I remsmber correctly. Maybe Union took over Weimann and were making those items? My memory is fuzzy on this, too many takeovers and bankruptcies. Of course it was all moot after Taiwan and then China got their productions and cheap labor developed. Maybe somebody can rearrange some of my timing and has a better memory of some of these details. It's all middle history now, but certainly researchable as those records haven't been destroyed yet We used the Weimnann CP's a lot and when Campag came out they were somewhat better. Campag were $40 a pair when first out. None of these brakes were stop on a dime types for racing speeds, they were meant to control your speed and help you RACE! Using them at touring speeds was a whole different dimension and just like in a car one has to figure stopping power vs. speed and distance. The best stopping was alway Mafac but harder to adjust, and the huge hand span made it harder to reach with smaller hands, but when you got them down far enough on the lever they would flip you over the bar faster than Weinmann, Universal, Altenburger, or GB's. I also think the wide lever pull on the Mafac's was designed to have a long pull distance before shutting down so that the blocks could be set farther from the rim., and with wheel changing or bent rim made the process more tolerant especially when the wheel would cant sideways on installation and time was of the essence.
Ted Ernst
Palos Verdes Estates

----- Original Message -----
From: "James G Allen"
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 6:15 AM
Subject: Re: [CR]Campy brake superiority.

> It has been graciously brought to my attention that Weinmann was a Swiss
> company. I humbly apologize to the great nation of Belgium for my ignorant
> slur. To think all these years I was cursing the wrong nation. BTW,
> perhaps I was installing/adjusting them improperly because I always had
> problems with centering them.
> George Allen
> Lexington, Ky
> BeGeorge Allen wrote:
>> I agree with all of this. I'll also add that the Weinmann 999 centerpulls
>> standard on mid-1970's Raleigh Competitions and Internationals were the
>> biggest piece of crap to ever come out of Belgium. I believe none other
>> than Sheldon Brown referred to them as "evil". (God bless him, may he
>> rest in peace) Hard to work on, hard to center and impossible to keep
>> centered. It seemed every time the lever was squeezed the calipers were
>> pulled out of center. I could reach the front caliper while riding to
>> readjust but the rear was a bit difficult. The Universal centerpulls of
>> the same era were much better. The Mavic Racers were better still. The
>> only worse brakes than the 999's, IMHO, were the Weinmann sidepulls found
>> on the Competition GS. And don't even get me started on the old Universal
>> sidepulls although they provided an incredible amount of reach. The Campy
>> brakes were a revelation to me. I didn't think brakes could work that
>> well.
>> George Allen
>> Lexington, Ky
>> USA
>> Tom Dalton wrote:
>>> Kurt Sperry wrote:
>>> The eccentric cam QR, the flats in the center bolt to center with a
>>> cone wrench and the tire guides were all useful and unique innovations
>>> at the time Campy SPs were introduced if I remember correctly.
>>> I'll add:
>>> The above features were really of benefit more from a mechanic's
>>> perspective than a braking performance perspective. Quick wheel
>>> changes, easy to compensate for a slightly tweeked wheel, easy to center
>>> the brakes... Many of the other Campy features were along the same
>>> lines. I'm not really up on stuff from before the 70's, so please
>>> forgive me if I'm crediting Campy for anything that came earlier, but I
>>> will add this:
>>> The cable clamp was pretty slick. I didn't mangle the wire like some
>>> earlier designs, and if you did have a mangled wire it was still usable
>>> because you didn't need to thread it through a tiny hole.
>>> Don't forget the Rondella Denta that came out a little after the
>>> intro of the brakes. That thing is pure genius... though probably just a
>>> borrowed idea like everything else. At the lever, the cable carrier
>>> was easy to orient using your fingers on the outside of the lever... it
>>> was even knurled. This made for quick cable hook-up. It also pivoted
>>> smoothly because of the large bearing surface (though not like modern
>>> brakes with the slick plastic inserts). Having a clamp that loaded
>>> the body and not the pivot pin was a plus, though I suspect Campy was
>>> not the first to do this. Winneman's clamp loaded the pivot, and I
>>> recall bending and breaking a few pivots in overzealous fits of lever
>>> tightening... possibly mechanic's error on my part, but should it really
>>> be an issue?
>>> The Campy adjuster was slick too. Very fast to use because the
>>> adjuster slid through the D-shaped opening, rather than being a threaded
>>> shaft, so you only needed to spin the nut to the chosen position. The
>>> bump on the nut held it in place. The ruber o-ring was a nice touch.
>>> Newer versions of this setup are really nice, because with the lighter
>>> brake springs you can easily ajust the brake on the fly. The bumper
>>> on the short reach was a nice touch, even if it often fell off. See the
>>> brand S 7700 caliper for a slick solution to that problem.
>>> Was the open ended pad holder a new thing with the Record brake?
>>> Probably over-reaching here, but whoever came up with that was really
>>> thinking. Change rubber without setting up the pad orientation all over
>>> again. Tom Dalton
>>> Bethlehem PA USA
>>> ---------------------------------
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